"Dream Weaver" singer Gary Wright has passed away at the age of 80.
He was pronounced dead on September 4th at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California. According to TMZ, Wright suffered from both Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease for the last six years. Gary's son Justin Wright confirmed his father's death on Monday, stating that "rapidly progressing" Parkinson's led to the artist's demise. The Dream Weaver was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his passing.
Musician and friend Stephen Bishop shared a kind message to X (formerly known as Twitter) memorializing Wright and his legacy.
"Gary's vibrant personality and exceptional talent made every moment together truly enjoyable. His legacy will live on for many years to come. I will always cherish the warmth and kindness shown to me by Gary and his wife Rose, and I will forever hold dear the stories he shared with me about days gone by."
Though he was unable to speak in his later years, it goes without question that Gary Wright used his voice to impact millions throughout his extensive career.
Born on April 26th, 1943 in Creeskill, New Jersey, Wright spent his early years singing, writing songs, traveling through Europe, and attending university. According to the artist's official biography, he graduated with a degree in psychology in 1967 and moved to London where he formed rock group “Spooky Tooth.” The band released their first album that same year and set out to tour the U.S. alongside musical greats including The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and more.
Wright took a "hiatus" from Spooky Tooth in the early 1970's after the release of the band's second album, and went on to play keyboards for George Harrison, working alongside "Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Phil Collins and other artists." Spooky Tooth released two more albums before Wright signed a solo deal with Warner Bros in 1974. In 1975, the artist released legendary hit "Dream Weaver" which not only reached #2 on the Billboard Charts in 1976, but featured the "first-ever all keyboard/synthesizer band," calling attention to technology that "revolutionized the musical instrument business and changed the sound of pop, rock and r&b forever." Wright released "Love Is Alive" shortly after, and the single spent 27 weeks on the Billboard Charts and was ranked as the ninth best song of 1976. "Dream Weaver" appeared in feature film soundtracks for "Wayne's World" and "The People V.S Larry Flynt" in the 1990s, and "Daddy Daycare" in 2003 to name a few.
The Dream Weaver album sold over 4 million combined copies worldwide. Wright remained involved in multiple musical endeavors throughout the early 2000's and joined Ringo Starr's All Starr Band in 2008.
"In addition to shows throughout 2010 with his own band to support his new album, Gary once again traversed the U.S. during that summer, touring as a member of Ringo's band, as well as, doing a European and South American tour in 2011 with Ringo. “Dream Weaver” was also prominently featured in Disney's Toy Story 3 movie, as well as, in an episode of “Glee” and the series of “Once Upon a Time.”'
In 2014 Wright authored a book titled: Dream Weaver: A Memoir; Music, Meditation, and My Friendship with George Harrison.
He is survived by his wife Rose, and sons Justin and Dorian Wright. Rest in peace, Gary Wright.